I am one of the, if not the, creators of the American Pac-Strat. As such, I feel I have some authority in which to discuss how it effects the game, what makes it balanced or unbalanced and how it could, if need be, fixed.
To discuss the Pac-Strat one must look at the global situation, the Europe situation in solitary perspective, the Pacific situation in solitary perspective, the financial situation and the over all methods to “win.”
Here is the basic shell of the American Pac-Strat. Please keep in mind that the details need to be vague as no two games are alike and certain issues may have to be addressed to handle different game situations. It has also been noted, by myself, that when one gives an absolute, detailed account of what to do first, second and third, opponents to your argument tend to give a counter-argument stating that they will do this on this round, knowing you will do that 3 rounds later. That is a flawed argument. If the game situation changes in such a way as doing one step many rounds later leads to your immenant destruction, why would you still go ahead with that specific step in your over all strategy? You wouldn’t!
The overall idea is that the Australian air force, and what little ships they have, combined with whatever ships England has are enough defensive punch to prevent the American fleet from getting mauled (perhaps not sunk, but damaged to the point it is no longer effective) from happening. This means America can move forward into the Pacific earlier, thus meaning Japan has to pull back earlier.
Japan can be neutralized without taking Tokyo! Once America starts “island hopping” on about turn 4 or 5, Japan’s income drops significantly while America’s stays strong and will, regardless of the situation! (For instance, even if America has no islands in the Pacific, they still collect 5 for Mexico, 10 for the Continental United States and 49 for territories, for a grand total of 64 IPC, which is about what Japan makes with all their NOs in play!) Thus it is, America eventually strangles Japan and then, later, leaves submarines in SZ 6 to wipe out what money Japan earns, reducing them to 0 income, without ever taking Japan! (Or Korea.)
Germany and Italy can be ignored as, once America has the Pacific, they are earning in the 90’s. Yes, England may be gone, but that is irrellevant. The Allies cannot win by victory cities, only by taking capitols. Russia is plenty strong enough to prevent the fall of Moscow (Muskva - speaking off, why the heck did you call it Novgorod, Volgorod and then Moscow? All in, or all out man! Sorry, pet peive, I also call it Arkhangelsk and Belarus, but I digress!)
Common misconceptions I have seen, and answers to specific arguements:
i) Russia cannot beat Germany without America!
So what? Russia does not have to BEAT anything, it only has to survive! By that, I mean that Russia only needs to keep Muskva in their control at all times and Germany cannot win the game! (Yes, theoretically they could take Ontario, realistically? Yes, I didn’t think so.)
Just looking at the first three rounds of Russia:
37 IPC: 11 Infantry, 1 Artillery. Build 3 each in Novgorod, Odessa (S. Ukraine), 5 in Muskva.
37 IPC: 5 Infantry, 1 Artillery, 3 Armor. Build 3 each in Novgorod and Odessa, build 3 armor in Muskva
37 IPC: 6 Artillery, 2 Armor, build 3 artillery each in Novogord and Odessa, Armor in Musvka.
This gives Russia + 16 Infnatry, 7 Artillery and 5 ARmor, a very significant boost to their offensive capability and their ability to hold freshly liberated land. It forces Germany to contend with counter attack - even if no counter attack occurs.
Russian strategy: Harry the Germans, sniping easy kills without losing significant forces. Withdraw in the face of overwhelming power to preserve strength and the ability to defend Muskva. Retreat, when possible, into their own reinforcements.
Standard Attack Plan: 1 Infantry, 1 Fighter vs 1 Defending Infantry. 67% odds of killing the defender. 33% odds of losing your infantry. Works out to 54.04% chance of taking the land, 45.96% chance of losing your infantry and retreating the fighter empty handed. Calculator results: http://www.campusactivism.org/aacalc/?m … nd=1&pbem= (Using frood’s calculator, limit it to 1 attacking unit must survive, run 10,000 results, all battles with 1 infantry, 1 fighter vs 1 infantry.)
Even if you fail to take the land, and we’re talking a 1 IPC plot of land here, you have better than even odds of replacing their picket with your own and only losing 1 infantry in the process. This runs counter intuitive to many of us who have played for a while. But we are used to 2 and 3 IPC territories, not 1 IPC throw-away chunks of land.
ii) But won’t Germany get too strong if England falls?
Not really. Just because Germany and Italy have 120 IPC combined and a foot hold on England, Europe and Africa does not mean they will win! For one, India is collecting 30 IPC and headed into the Middle East. Russia has at least 20 IPC and pressing against the Eastern Front. America has a warfleet of surface ships they dont need in the Pacific that will be quickly headed towards the Atlantic, coupled with new ships (Mostly transports, but also submarines for convoy duty) to retake Africa and, worst of all, there will only be income for the NO of London for Germany, after the convoys.
Essentials: Germany must reinforce against Russia, or retreat. Germany must defend France or lose it. Germany must defend England, or face liberation by the Americans. Italy must defend Africa. Italy must defend the Middle East. Italy must defend S. Europe (to include all of Italy and the balkans states.)
Essentials: Russia must not lose Moscow. America must take S. Africa and at least Morocco. India must liberate the middle east.
None of that is really that difficult to achieve, once you figure in that the Germans and Italians are split three ways from Sunday while the Allies are focused. Without Japan, the doomsday bell is sounding and the Europeans will be liberated.
iii) But it costs 3.5 IPC more for America to move troops into the Pacific!
America only needs 2 transports, 3 infantry, 1 armor in the Pacific. They start with this equipment. Remember, you are not taking Japan, you are not invading Korea. What you are doing is liberating islands that generally only have 1 infantry defending them, if that. 4 ground units, plus 6 aircraft is more than enough to accomplish this. And, with the significantly greater income, you can readily trade planes instead of ground forces to keep the ball rolling! What’s a 10 IPC plane to America who is earning 90 IPC? Nothing. It’s 1/9th of their income. A 3 IPC infantry from Japan earning 40 IPC is 7.5% of their income. A fighter can quickly move over from the US to replace the lost one, the lost Infantry cannot be replaced at all.
It costs Japan, Australia and England the same amount to transport troops where they are needed. Who can afford it more? America iwth 90 IPC, Australia with 20 IPC, Japan with 40 IPC or England with 0 or 30 IPC? I wager the Americans can well afford the cost! They earn more than Japan + Australia + England Combined!
iv) The Japanese fleet and air force is too large to contend with.
I have diagrammed this many times. I will do so again:
Japan starts with 156 IPC worth of warships, and 222 IPC in air power. They earn 40 IPC a round thereafter, perhaps getting as high as 50 IPC for a round or two.
America starts with 108 IPC in warships, 83 IPC in air power and earns 52 IPC for 3 rounds and 72-90 IPC there after.
By round 8 Japan should have, with full expenditures into the navy, less 20 IPC for ground units to hold China, 618 IPC worth of Air and Naval Power. By round 8 America should have, with full expenditures into the navy, less 0 for ground units: 506 IPC in warships and air power + 231 from Australia + 40 from England for a grand total of 777 IPC warfleet.
Note, this is a worst case scenario! Odds are, the situation will be significantly better for the allies! America can easily get that 5th island, Japan can quickly lose what NOs they have, dynamically shift the situation against the axis even more, I am only looking at the best possible situation for the axis.
So what can we do about it?
The continental NO should be discarded. I have never seen W. USA fall to Japan in the global game, ever! Taking the W. USA is the easiest of all the attacks on the continental United States, if that does not fall, it’s assured that C. USA and E. USA will not fall either! Thus, the NO is essentially just making W. USA worth 20 IPC.
All of America’s NOs are in the Pacific. Why in the world would they ever go to the Atlantic!?! There’s no reward for them there!
i) Gibraltar + Morocco + Algeria should be 5 IPC for America. This is an area Italy goes routinely, it was a historical operation for the United States (Patton was sent there to secure N. Africa) and it is very important towards defeating the Axis in Europe to keep these territories liberated.
ii) England, Normandy (W. France) and Norway should be the other 5 IPC. We knew that if England fell, we would have a much harder time invading and liberating Europe. Normandy is where D-Day happened. Norway was, I believe, where the Germans were conducting Nuclear Research.
iii) Note, this does not reduce America’s financial strength, but it does cause them to consider the Atlantic with part of their resources, else, lose some strength against Japan. After 5 or 6 rounds of lost money, we see a 50 to 60 IPC shift in naval power, which should be enough to allow Japan to hold SZ 6 longer.
The Chinese fighter should be replacable, but also banned from British territories!
i) America builds a fighter.
ii) America flies the darn thing to China.
iii) On China’s next turn, after the fighter lands, it can convert the fighter to Chinese.
iv) China may not have more than one fighter at any time.
v) China may only move into tan territories If and Only If, India has been captured, and only in Kwangtung (Hong Kong), Sham State, Burma and Malaya.
vi) China may invade Korea if there are no Japanese naval ships on the Pacific board (SZ 1 through SZ 63).
In regards to adding “slow moving land units” into “axis capitols” I disagree vehementaly. I hate bids, always have, always will, and this is too close to a bid. If you need to buff Europe, make the Submarine NO include the Med, Baltic, Black and Caspian Seas. Make the Russian NO include SZ 125, 126, 127, Karelia, Arkhangelsk and Novgorod. Make the FIC NO last until Japan captures FIC, regardless of at war status. (Though, I would rather see that NO split into Philippines and Sikang).
The industrial technology section of the game is woefully inadequate for the board, IMHO. Many of the technologies are just dwarfed in scope of how many territories there are, financial considerations and where things are located. I would reduce the technologies to 6:
Improved Airfields: Airbases now add +2 movement to Fighters and Tactical Bombers and +3 movement to Strategic Bombers. Cost of all aircraft reduced by 1.
Heavy Bombers: Strategic Bombers roll two dice, take the best result. Tactical Bombers now attack at a 4 or less, regardless of accompanyment of a tank or fighter. (See SBR notes below.)
Improved Shipyards: Cost of Naval units reduced as before. Shipyards now extend range of all non-transport ships (ie warships) by 2.
War Bonds: Two dice + 2 IPC added during the collect income phase.
Improved Infantry: Mechanized Infantry cost 3 IPC, may blitz as per armored units.
Improved Facilities: Minor Industrial Complexes now build 5 units, Major Industrial Complexes now build 12 units, AA Guns now hit on a 2 or less (including the ones on facilities).
i) Mechanized Infantry: Should attack at 2, defend at 1. You ever try to get a jeep into a foxhole? No benefit from artillery or armor pressence.
ii) Tactical Bombers can attack industrial complexes one a 1 to 1 basis with attacking strategic bombers.
iii) SBR: Tactical Bombers always do 3 Damage to the enemy, 2 damage to the attack (+1 damage with heavy bombers technology), Strategic Bombers always do 4 damage to the enemy and 2 damage to the attacker (+2 with technology) regardless of any AA Gun shots. Just take the AA Guns out of the equation. Radar of course, would double the damage the attacker takes when conducting the raids, and of course, we still have interceptor rules.
iv) Move the aircraft from N. Italy to S. Italy. Let’s save Germany the trouble of moving planes down there to defend the fleet, okay? One less thing to deal with.
v) Move 1 infantry from Karelia, 2 infantry from Vyborg to Russia. Alleviates some defensive punch that Germany must contend with.
vi) Move 1 Artillery from Germany to W. Germany. Makes France less dicey.
vii) If Japan invades Russia, not only does Russia get 12 IPC, but also America may declare war on JAPAN ONLY. If Russia invades Japan not only does Japan get 12 IPC, but Japan can invade Dutch territories without incuring reciprocity from America, England or Australia.
viii) Captured minor industrial complexes are destroyed, as per aa gun rules. They may be rebuilt by whomever holds the land for a full round, of course.
ix) Italy needs a minor complex in Libya. I don’t care if the territory is increased in value to 2 IPC or not. Obviously any structure on the initial setup is immune from rules building a new one. Also, if the complex is lost, it might be nice to make it unreplacable.
These are just my opinions. Take or leave what you want. Feedback is always appreciated. As a parting thought, I will leave a link to a typical American Pac-Strat game I am in. A few things to note:
Japan’s been running all over with the fleet. America’s been chasing because it has nothing else to do!
America’s been building Atlantic fleet for a few rounds now, and is ready to invade North Africa with minimal to no resistance.
England’s moved from China into the Middle East, Italy is having issues maintaining power there.
China is easily holding the Japanese at bay, with America siphoning off what little they earn with Convoy damage.
Russia has been holding the Germans back quite well for quite a long time, even with Sea Lion being a success and without American assistance until just recently!
This is a typical game, there are no strange rules added, no rules were adapted or changed. The game has run along a pretty standard line with America investing 100% into the Pacific until just the past 2 or 3 rounds (which coincidentally, was when Japan was neutralized and thereafter.)
If we look at Europe, we see the pretty normal inroads that Germany makes into Russia. They went north, instead of south, of course, but they could have gone the other way with equal success. The Russian army (493 IPC) is equivalent to the German army (539 IPC) with neither able to beat the other. Many of the Russians are in Caucasus, but then many of the Germans are in Germany so it’s a wash there.
The Australian fleet, in this game as per normal, was a deciding factor. I find many people underestimate the power of Australia. Please take note that Australia has a shuck system in place, scary, no?
The game is essentially over. Japan is earning 4 IPC a round, but will lose that shortly as Russia liberates the last few territories. Italy is earning 50 IPC a round, but that will be ending shortly now that America has 8+ transports to dump units into Africa. Germany is earning 80 IPC a round, but that’s not enough eithera s they have to build to defend England, France, Geramny and attack Russia.
Here is the link. The file uses the Abattlemap T40 module.
http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/ind … =23121.405
(copy pasted from Larry’s board, links may no longer work. Filmatleven)